Wednesday, May 10, 2017


By Juan Montoya
That quote (and its unsavory conclusion) comes to mind after reading that the Brownsville Public Utilities Company received yet another Reliable Public power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association.
The award recognizes publicly-owned utilities for their "reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement."

The PUB? C'mon, man!

This has to rank right up there with the city gaining the Guinness World Record for Zumba dancing, for having more kids wet a line in a dirty resaca at the Hooked For Life event, and other Donald Trump-like diversionary antics that obscure the fact that this is a poverty-wracked community which can't be compared to Austin or San Francisco.

Instead of fixing the drainage so it won't flood when a dog takes a pee at Four Corners, or building bus shelters so the poor people won't have to be at the mercy of the elements awaiting a limping Metro Bus system, they spend millions of taxpayers' dollars building bike trails and getting nonsensical recognitions.  

How many times have the lights gone out at your house after a rainstorm, a strong wind, or for no reason at all?
And safety? Ask some of the ratepayers what happens when they call the utility to lay out a line and find that the workers simply strung the wires across the ground or roof instead of securing them to the walls to avoid friction that would bare the wires and create a fire and safety hazard.

As for workforce development, it might be better to recognize it for its favoritism, compadrismo and patronage. The PUB, like the City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Independent School District, and Cameron County are notorious for hiring relatives of relatives. Once these people get hired, they will not let go of their paycheck until it is pried from their cold, dead fingers. You go with the flow y no hagas pedo and everything will be alright. Suggest some innovative method of doing the work and you're out on your ear. And if you see that one of these compadrismo hires is getting a bigger raise and bigger paycheck even though their work is mediocre at best, tend to your own beeswax or else.

The city has allowed the PUB to be ruled by top managers who freely dole themselves huge pay raises annually that are bigger than the city's median household income of $32,288.

While residents continue to struggle to pay the utility rate increases of 35 percent since 2013 to build a $500 million plant that will never be built with private energy company Tenaska, its top three executives received raises which are almost twice as much as that. From 2016 to 2017, PUB Manager and CEO John Bruciak got a $59,009 raise that puts his annual salary at  $294,028. Asst. General Manager and COO Fernando Saenz gave himself a $54,975 raise that puts his annual salary at $210,017. And, not to be outdone, Chief Financial Officer Leandro Garcia got himself a $54,996 raise to peg his salary at $200,012. 

These are the same gents that grossly projected that the city would be in dire need of the plant because the lack of electricity in the region would drive away manufacturers, and result in electric shortages for residents. Fitch Ratings reports that the Tenaska plant can't get built because there is a glut of power (425 MWs) in the grid as a result of a handful of other gas-powered electric-generating plants which came online since and did not appear to these energy gurus in their opaque crystal balls.

The local cheerleading daily quotes Ryan Greenfeld, senior communications and public relations coordinator saying: “When we first got the award in (2014), it was the second-to-highest rating (gold). So that really gave us something to shoot for this time, and we’re extremely proud of our efforts to have gotten that highest rating (diamond) this time,” Greenfeld said.

A $59,000 annual raise for its CEO for his clueless notions of power availability which placed the cost of the PUB's wildest notions upon the ratepayers in the poorest community in the United States? That's rich!


Anonymous said...

What's the old saying...."Fuck up and move up." That should be a motto of this city administration. The city attorney, Sossi, is another example that goes side, by side with the P.U.B. mob. The public continues to suffer from the abuse and failures of Mayor Tony Martinez and his "cartel" of assholes.

Anonymous said...

Pinche PUB
Pinche City of Brownsville
Pinche commissioners
Pinche school board
Pinche politiqueras
last but not least
Pinche Juan for constantly reminding us that we live in a shit hole of a city.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good pople working at PUB. However the CEO is not a genuine community leader, who in the year 2000, just as deregulation took off told the The Brownsville Herald: "We shouldnt jump to deregulate PUB UNTIL WE KNOW HOW THIS DEREGULATION THING WORKS" 17 years later he hasn't figured out that competition is not a bad thing. Thousands of city residents remain locked inside PUB jail withstanding 30% utility price hikes plus his own pay raise. Off with his head.